A game of budgets and cuts

creynolds Collective Bargaining, Crossroads

A new ad campaign by public service workers in Newfoundland and Labrador will be shown on TV screens across the province starting today. CUPE’s public services workers launched the ad to voice their concerns about the Ball Government’s failure to protect good jobs, as well as the impact on our economy and our public services.

Watch the television ad during CBC News at 6 and 6:30 pm, as well as NTV Evening News and NTV First Edition.

In the provincial budget released on April 6, the Minister of Finance announced that, “Our government will propose legislative changes to implement a wage freeze for management and all non-union employees for the current fiscal year. This includes core government and agencies, boards and commissions.”

The threat of job layoffs and a wage freeze for public service workers, both unionized and non-unionized, is causing undue stress on families and communities.

With inflation currently at 4.1% and the average income (unionized and non-unionized) in the province of approximately $53,000, a wage freeze would cost workers almost $2,200 per year.

Collective agreements with the province typically cover a four-year period.

These attacks come at a time when the provincial unemployment rate is expected to increase from 13% to 17% over the next three years, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Families in Newfoundland and Labrador are already struggling to make ends meet. Layoffs, wage freezes, cuts to public services, and attacks on unions are only making things worse. During a time of economic downturn, lower and middle income families need public services more than ever.

“All economic indicators are still pointing to challenging times for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in terms of job certainty, the unemployment crisis, being able to pay the bills, quality of life, and the security needed to build a future here,” says CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas.

CUPE believes the Ball Government should recognize the public sector as a driver of economic growth. There are steps the Province can take in the collective bargaining process, and in future budgets, that put people first, protect the public services we need, create good jobs and a stronger economy.

Tell the Ball Government to protect the good jobs and wages we need to stabilize our economy.

Life is not a game for people in Newfoundland and Labrador.

How much will you lose if a wage freeze is implemented?

This chart can be used to estimate how much you will lose if your wages remain the same and inflation is 4.1% for Newfoundland and Labrador. *

Annual Wages One Year Two Years Three Years Four Years
20000 824 1640 2460 3296
25000 1030 2060 3090 4120
30000 1236 2472 3708 4944
35000 1442 2884 4326 5768
40000 1648 3296 4944 6592
45000 1854 3708 5562 7416
50000 2060 4120 6180 8240
55000 2266 4532 6798 9064
60000 2472 4944 7416 9888
65000 2678 5356 8034 10712
70000 2884 5768 8652 11536
75000 3090 6180 9270 12360
80000 3296 6592 9888 13184

Source: Statistics Canada, Consumer Price Index, by province (monthly)